Bayern's van Gaal looks to blood Ribery
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal says he plans to play star midfielder Franck Ribery in Saturday's clash with Werder Bremen as he integrates the Frenchman back into the squad.sports Updated: Aug 14, 2009 07:10 IST
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal says he plans to play star midfielder Franck Ribery in Saturday's clash with Werder Bremen as he integrates the Frenchman back into the squad.
With Real Madrid and Manchester United both reported to still be chasing the 26-year-old midfielder, who played in France's 1-0 World Cup qualier win over the Faroe Islands on Wednesday, van Gaal will play him against Bremen.
Ribery has made a slow start to the season after picking up an ankle injury during pre-season training and van Gaal is still working out his first-choice line-up after less than two months in charge.
"Franck is back now, but I must integrate him in the team," said the Dutchman after Ribery missed last week's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim on the opening weekend of the season.
"Perhaps he will play 20 minutes against Bremen."
And Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness insists Ribery is going nowhere despite Real and United's interest.
"Let me say this for the 98th time: Franck Ribery is staying at Bayern," he said.
"The subject was closed once and for all last month.
"All the offers that came in after that, or are still to come in, won't receive a moment's consideration from us."
With club captain and first-choice midfield enforcer Mark van Bommel sidelined for four weeks with a broken toe, Ukraine star Anatoliy Tymoshchuk has his chance.
"I'm more than certain I can claim a regular place," he said defiantly.
"Up to now, I've not had time to show everyone what I can do. I've had to take in a lot of new things," remarked the Ukraine man, who is about to polish up his German.
Defending champions Wolfsburg are aiming to build on last week's winning start when they travel to Cologne with strikers Grafite and Edin Dzeko showing the same form which netted them more than 50 goals between them last season.
Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh strengthened his attack in midweek by signing former Inter Milan forward Obafemi Martins from English Premier League side Newcastle United.
On Sunday, third-placed Schalke 04 are home to VfL Bochum but the Royal Blues will be without Germany defender Christian Pander for the next few weeks after the 25-year-old had his fifth operation on his left knee on Monday.